Recent travels: A United itinerary with all mainline flights, sadly a rarity for me.

I recently had a flight experience that was unique to me, but likely not out of the ordinary for many of you.  I flew a 4 segment round trip on United that had 4 mainline flights.  Most of my itineraries on United begin with a 67 mile CRJ hop to ORD.  I used to fly Northwest more since at least they were all mainline from MKE, but now i'm almost exclusively flying on United.  A few years ago, on flights between MKE and ORD, there was at least occasional CR7, but its all CRJ now.  The only redeeming thing is that it is almost exclusively Skywest, so at least the crews are generally good.  I'll have another blog about my MKE-ORD legs soon.  

I had some last minute travel changes, but I had to still to get to Phoenix for a morning meeting.  I was already in Minneapolis, didn't have much time to hop around, so I ended up booking flights on United from MSP-PHX.  There is some RJ flying to Minneapolis, but I fortunately was able to avoid it with the flight times I needed.  I flew MSP-ORD-PHX-DEN-MSP.  My upgrades cleared on all 4 flights several days out.  It was also nice to have clubs at all airports, and a first class seat waiting for me on all legs.

The journey wasn't all smooth sailing, however. On the return leg, I got a text message that my DEN-MSP flight was delayed.  Upon landing in DEN, there was snow on the ground in mid-May, so I feared there might be trouble.  It was listed as delayed due to late inbound aircraft.  We eventually boarded about 2 hours late, and began to taxi.  We got to the runway, and quickly left.  There was no Channel 9 on, and the captain wasn't forthcoming with information.  Eventually there was an announcement that there was a faulty fuel pump, and we could fly with it due to redundant systems, but there would need to be some paperwork filed.  This ended up taking about 90 minutes, so all told, we were 4 hours delayed.

No compensation was offered for this 4 hour delay, all of which were due operations issues.  I'm not seeking anything, but I do wonder how this system works, as in April I received 9000 miles for a delay that led to a LAX-SFO misconnect, and ultimately a delay of only 1 hour.   

Anyway, despite the issues, I'd much prefer that to flying half of my legs on regional jets.  As I try to squeeze my frame into row 8 on the CRJ, I'm envious of those of you who don't have to deal with regional flights.


Congrats on the 4 mainline flights AND all in first class. Are you a 1K? Historically, as you know, they've emailed unsolicited compensation for operational delays exceeding 4 hours, but as Matthew recently didn't get one on his 12+ hour mechanical, perhaps the game is changing.

Brad May 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Darren: Yes, I'm a 1K. The compensation game is definitely changing, but I've seen mixed reports regarding compensation. Some is lesser amounts than in recent history, but some with minimal changes. As I noted in the post, I recently got an unsolicited deposit of miles for a misconnect, but only a one hour delay in arrival.